A Professionally Clean Smile for Improved Dental Health
You might think you’re getting all the nooks and crannies when you brush and floss. Unfortunately, there are places in your mouth where harmful bacteria can accumulate despite your best efforts. That’s where the talented Jacksonville dentists and dental team of Southern Smiles come in. Led by Dr. Bethany Burton and Dr. Linda Trotter, our team provides professional dental cleanings to treat and prevent oral health issues like gum disease and tooth decay. To learn more about what we can do to protect your smile, call us at 904-389-3451 or keep reading our helpful guide below.
What Are Professional Teeth Cleanings?
Professional teeth cleanings, also known as dental cleanings or dental prophylaxis, are a non-invasive procedure to rid your smile of food debris and bacteria. These simple, non-invasive cleanings allow our dental hygienists to reach those places in your mouth where brushing and flossing can’t normally reach. This professional cleaning method helps prevent and even treat oral health issues.
Benefits of Professional Dental Cleanings
Professional dental cleanings, conducted by our Jacksonville dental hygienists or dentists, offer a range of benefits for maintaining optimal oral health, including the following:
- Effective Cleaning: Professional cleanings remove plaque and tartar buildup, which are hard to eliminate through regular brushing and flossing alone.
- Early Intervention: Regular cleanings help prevent the development of cavities by removing plaque, the primary contributor to tooth decay.
- Gum Health: Cleaning not only focuses on teeth but also the health of gums, preventing and managing gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Stain Removal: Professional cleanings can remove surface stains caused by coffee, tea, tobacco, and certain foods, contributing to a brighter and whiter smile.
- Elimination of Odor-Causing Bacteria: Cleaning addresses bacteria that can lead to bad breath, providing a fresher and more pleasant breath.
- Timely Identification: Regular cleanings enable dental professionals to detect early signs of dental issues such as cavities, gum disease, and oral cancers, allowing for prompt intervention.
- Oral-Systemic Connection: Good oral health is linked to overall health. Professional cleanings contribute to the prevention of systemic diseases associated with poor oral hygiene.
- Personalized Guidance: Dental hygienists often provide personalized advice on oral care practices, including proper brushing and flossing techniques tailored to individual needs.
- Care for Restorations: Cleanings help maintain the longevity of dental restorations such as fillings, crowns, and bridges by preventing surrounding tooth decay.
- Patient Knowledge: Our dental professionals use cleanings as an opportunity to educate patients about their oral health, providing insights into proper care and addressing any concerns.
The Professional Teeth Cleaning
Plaque and Tartar Removal
During a professional dental cleaning, your Jacksonville dental hygienist or dentist begins by meticulously removing plaque and tartar from your teeth. Plaque, a soft, sticky film of bacteria, is cleared away through scaling, using specialized instruments to reach areas that may be challenging to access with regular brushing and flossing. Tartar, a hardened form of plaque, is carefully scraped off the tooth surfaces and below the gumline, preventing potential decay and gum disease.
After plaque and tartar removal, the next step involves polishing the teeth. Using a rotating brush or rubber cup along with mildly abrasive toothpaste, the dental professional buffs away surface stains and residual plaque. This polishing process not only enhances the teeth's appearance by providing a smooth surface but also contributes to a brighter, cleaner smile.
Your Jacksonville dental professional will floss between each tooth to ensure food particles have been found and properly removed. This helps prevent bacteria from reaccumulating and causing issues with your smile in the future.
Following the flossing stage, we’ll ask you to rinse your mouth thoroughly. This step helps to eliminate any remaining polishing paste or debris from the cleaning process. The rinse typically contains a liquid that leaves your mouth feeling refreshed and ready for the next phase of the cleaning.
A fluoride treatment may be recommended, especially for individuals at higher risk of cavities. Fluoride, a mineral that strengthens tooth enamel, is applied as a gel, foam, or varnish. The treatment helps to fortify the teeth against acid attacks from bacteria and promotes remineralization, contributing to the prevention of tooth decay. The fluoride application is a quick and painless process that adds an extra layer of protection to your dental health.
During or after the cleaning, the dentist may conduct a thorough oral examination. This involves checking for signs of cavities, gum disease, oral cancer, and other dental issues. We may also take X-rays for a more detailed view of the teeth and supporting structures. The routine dental examination ensures early detection and prompt treatment of any potential problems.
Personalized Oral Care Guidance
Throughout the cleaning process, your Jacksonville dental professional takes the opportunity to provide personalized oral care guidance. This includes recommendations on proper brushing and flossing techniques, advice on selecting oral care products, and addressing any specific concerns or questions you may have about your dental health. The goal is to empower you with the knowledge and tools necessary for maintaining optimal oral hygiene between professional cleanings.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a professional teeth cleaning appointment usually take?
The duration of a professional teeth cleaning appointment can vary, but it typically takes between 30 minutes to an hour. Factors such as the extent of plaque and tartar buildup, the need for additional treatments like fluoride, and the overall condition of your oral health can influence the length of the routine cleaning appointment.
Are professional teeth cleanings covered by dental insurance?
In many cases, dental insurance covers the cost of professional teeth cleanings, especially as they are considered preventive care. However, coverage can vary based on the insurance plan and the specific services provided during the cleaning. It's advisable to check with your insurance provider to confirm coverage details.
Is professional teeth cleaning painful?
Professional teeth cleaning is typically not painful. The process involves scaling, polishing, and other non-invasive procedures. Some individuals may experience mild sensitivity or discomfort, especially if they have sensitive teeth, but the overall experience of a routine dental cleaning is generally comfortable.
How often should I schedule professional teeth cleanings?
It’s generally recommended to schedule professional teeth cleanings every six months. However, the frequency may vary based on individual oral health needs. Some individuals with specific conditions or a higher risk of dental issues may need more frequent than routine dental cleanings, as advised by their dentist.
Ready for a Cleaner, Healthier Smile? Schedule Your Professional Teeth Cleaning Today!
Transform your oral health with professional teeth cleanings from our dedicated Jacksonville dental team at Southern Smiles. Dial 904-389-3451 to schedule your appointment and experience the benefits of effective cleaning, personalized guidance, and the added protection of fluoride treatments.
Don't miss out on the opportunity for a brighter, cleaner smile—act now and prioritize your dental health with Southern Smiles. Southern Smiles is here to help patients from Jacksonville and surrounding areas such as Fernandina Beach, Macclenny, and Green Cove Springs, FL.